** Products / Company Discontinued (2011) **
Transforming ordinary ingredients into something truly extraordinary: That's the basic idea behind the concept of alchemy, which Alkemie Ice Cream rightly exemplifies. Utilizing a unique base comprised of cashews, coconut, and agave, this small company is making a big splash in the frozen dessert market, setting itself apart from the competition with quality ingredients, and perhaps just a little bit of magic. Although still unavailable in much of the country, I went right to the manufacturer as soon as I caught wind of this mystical creation, and all but begged for a taste. Luckily, I needn't have pleaded so hard, as it turns out the people behind Alkemie are very friendly and easy to communicate with. I had three solid pack pints arrive on my doorstep in no time at all.
If you can make a good Vanilla ice cream, you can make anything, as I firmly believe, so that container is where I plunged my spoon in first. Plentiful flecks of vanilla bean dotted the surface and interior, promising to pack in the flavor, and it did not disappoint. Full-bodied and assertive, this proved that vanilla isn't always just a backup singer, but quite capable of taking the lead. Incredibly smooth and creamy, this little number is undeniably rich, rivaling any super-premium pick. In fact, it was practically buttery, the way it coated and lingered on my tongue. Some might detect and be bothered by a very slight aftertaste from the base ingredients, but it wasn't enough to stop me from going back for seconds, thirds, and eventually fourths.
Runner up as America's favorite ice cream flavor but still number one in many peoples' opinions, the Dark Chocolate has some pretty high expectations to live up to. Luckily, it not only met, but exceeded any I had. More than merely cocoa-flavored, this dark temptress throws a one-two punch of no-holds barred chocolate intensity, powerful enough to send the most dedicated chocoholics spinning. Though I'm not usually one to go for plain chocolate ice cream if given a choice, this alone could change all of that. Not a hint of coconut nor cashew impedes the flavor here, so all the eater experiences is pure frozen chocolate bliss.
Now thoroughly excited to discover what that final pint held, I could hardly break into the Mint Chocolate Chip fast enough. The powerful aroma of mint wafted up to my nose as soon as I lifted the lid, betraying the otherwise plain-looking, snow white and black-speckled ice cream inside. Its very bright, fresh mint flavor without any grassiness to speak of makes for highly refreshing, well-balanced treat begging to be served in the heat of summer. Generous handfuls of chocolate pieces with just a hint of bitterness cut the sweetness perfectly, and their even distribution but irregular sizes made every bite different and exciting. Deceptively light, this is the kind of dessert I would never tire of. Smooth-scooping straight out of the freezer, there's none of the chalkiness or iciness that I've come to associate with some commercial vegan ice creams. If Alkemie could just ramp up production, distribution, and perhaps add a few more flavors to their strong but small line up, I think they could really take the market by storm, with or without a little pinch of magic.